The House of Komnenos, Like a Phoenix From the Ashes: An Eastern Roman Timeline

Very true. I believe And All Nations Shall Gather to it by @Rdffigueira follows a similar process with a narrow focus on the Crusades and surrounding region. Keeping a narrow focus certainly helps the narrative and allows us to explore the long term consequences of the POD faster.
I was aiming on that narrow focus. Though I’ll obviously provide some exposition/context when its necessary. Like for the HRE, I’ll have to explain how and why the political development within it are occurring.

Great, can't wait! Hopefully Frederick II gets to defeat Pope Innocent and establish a more centralised HRE. One can hope :)
The problem was that in otl Frederick II basically neglected his Kingship in Germany for Southern Italy. The core of the HRE was in Germany rather than among the actual “Romans” of Italy. He also saw many of the powers of the Emperor lost during his reign. Though I’ve always had a soft spot for the old stupor mundi.

Do you have any ideas on some reforms Fredrick II could pursue assuming he’s like his namesake Frederick Barbarossa ittl?

Do you guys have any sources you recommend for the HRE around the 12th and 13th centuries


I imagine that is only for the start of the tl and once butterflies have affected surrounding regions your going to do an update on them or you will show events in regions other than the roman empire briefly?
When it’s necessary I’ll give some context about the neighbors of Rhomania and its other contemporaries. An example would be if nation like Epirus or Bulgaria managed make some major power plays in the Balkans, I’d dedicate a whole chapter to adding context and reasoning behind their actions.


That’s both insane and brilliant. CK2 in a nutshell, I guess.
Even though I love CKII, I had to stop playing because it was eating up much of my time.


Ain’t nothing wrong with being a Byzantophile.
Constantine XI has sent you a friend request.


I'm about to end page 4's relevance.
By going onto page five?
The page is dead. Long live the page!
 
Do you have any ideas on some reforms Fredrick II could pursue assuming he’s like his namesake Frederick Barbarossa ittl?
What about the Erbreichsplan which was a plan to change the HRE from an elective to hereditary monarchy? It was attempted by Barbarossa's successor Henry VI and attracted initial support among the princes but eventually faltered due to papal opposition, among other reasons.

Frederick II was able implement reforms in Sicily with the Constitutions of Melfi or Liber Augustalis. You can read more about this here on Wikipedia. The reforms in Sicily brought about a new legal code that, among other effects, centralised the Kingdom of Sicily and diminished the power of the feudatories. In fact, the code remained practically unchanged in this realm until the XIX century. Sicily is of course not north Italy or Germany but it is noteworthy that Frederick II was able to implement lasting reforms it at least one of his realms.
 
What about the Erbreichsplan which was a plan to change the HRE from an elective to hereditary monarchy? It was attempted by Barbarossa's successor Henry VI and attracted initial support among the princes but eventually faltered due to papal opposition, among other reasons.
The Pope was quite terrified of the power of the Emperor since the Pope was now encircled by the Hohenstaufens. There was Germany along with Hohenstaufen Swabia to the North, and now Norman Sicily which was a very wealthy and prosperous Kingdom. The Pope had to rely on the other German Princes' s self interest and the Lombard League to defeat them. Maybe Frederick II being raised to think of himself as Emperor fist would help him maintain his holdings. The problem is that Italy drew in resources from Germany which was being raided by Valdemar II of Norway who took large swathes of the Baltic Coast.

What do you think of Philip of Swabia Frederick's Uncle surviving by virtue of not being assassinated? He was on the verge of crushing Otto IV's revolt before his violent and untimely death. Philip also was primarily motivated to safeguard the interests of his nephew Frederick II. How do you see Frederick being raised here?
 
What do you think of Philip of Swabia Frederick's Uncle surviving by virtue of not being assassinated? He was on the verge of crushing Otto IV's revolt before his violent and untimely death. Philip also was primarily motivated to safeguard the interests of his nephew Frederick II. How do you see Frederick being raised here?
Assuming Philip can defeat Otto's revolt, which appears to have been the case prior to the assassination, that puts Philip in good position to strengthen his power in the HRE. Pope Innocent, I believe, was ready to compromise with Philip regarding Tuscany. Forgive me, though, as I am not well versed in the dispute with Innocent, Otto and Philip.

Frederick would be groomed as Philip's successor. This assumes, though, that Philip would have no sons himself. In OTL, Philip's wife Irene was pregnant before the assassination. She had to quickly flee but then miscarried a girl and then died herself afterwards. Presumably Philip's death and her subsequent flight caused undue stress to her so it's possible she could survive and later have more children. In this case, it may be that Frederick may not inherit Germany, thus leaving Germany and Sicily separate realms.
 
I'll admit to being curious about what you're going to do with the Rum Sultanate since this is A Roman Timeline.

Simply having them be absorbed into Roman culture does not seem feasible to me seeing as they're the ones flooding into in large numbers Anatolia after conquering it, even if the Mongols manage to wreak havoc in them like IOTL.
 
I personally disagree with Constantine Paparrigopoulos on this. His view that Byzatium or Βασιλεύς των Ρωμαίων was a period of decline and degeneration for Greece is a horrible misunderstanding of the millennia of history. I find this ironic because Greece spent over a millenia as the Romaoi then as the ancient Hellenes (323-700 BC). The term Hellene to the Romans of that age was insult since it was essentially calling them pagan. This type of historiography ignores the vast literary, cultural, and scientific innovations produced by Greeks for over a millenia. One of the reasons why I decided to start writing this timeline was because I felt that Byzantium was just ignored by everyone. When I was in high school for example, people only talked about Justinian and the Fall of Constantinople in 1453. I found it odd that no one talked about the centuries long gap in between those two dates, and I began reading more about Byzantium. I was fascinate by things like the Macedonian Renaissance, the Komnenian Restoration, the Palaiologian Renaissance, etc so I guess I'm a bit of a Byzantophile I guess. Hence the reason why my profile name is Basileus_Komnenos.
When Paparrigopoulos considered Byzantium a period of decline and degeneration? The exact opposite. The man spent effectively his whole life doing war on the line of Gibbon and earlier western historians on Byzantine decadence and proving the historical continuation of the empire with the ancient past and as an integral part of Greek history, the empire of medieval Hellenism in his own words. (And showing how Hellene, gradually comes back to fashion during the period, but that's a mere sidenote to a hugely larger work)
 
I'll admit to being curious about what you're going to do with the Rum Sultanate since this is A Roman Timeline.

Simply having them be absorbed into Roman culture does not seem feasible to me seeing as they're the ones flooding into in large numbers Anatolia after conquering it, even if the Mongols manage to wreak havoc in them like IOTL.
Well, the Turkish settlement of Anatolia occurred in two waves; The Seljuk/Salchouq in the 11th Century and the Türkmen in the 13th.

The Seljuk/Salchouq became partially assimilated over the course of the 12th Century, interbreeding with the local population and adopting many cultural elements from them. If you look at the marriages and issue of the Seljuk dynasty, by the time of Köşe Dağ the Sultans were less than a quarter Turkish due to the high number of marriages within the lower ranks of the Rhomaioi aristocracy. Most of the population in the Lakes Region, the most heavily populated area, were heavily intermarried and, according to some historian whose name I can’t remember, even spoke a Rhomaioi-Salchouq pidgin.

The Turks really only became unassimulatable in the late 13th century, when Türkmen from Central Asia migrated into Anatolia. Many were fanatical Muslims, and as the Seljuk dynasty approached extinction they began establishing small statelets along the Rhomaioi frontier, many with the express purpose of waging holy war. As these cut off interaction with Rhomaion, the Seljuk assimilated into the Türkmen rather than the Rhomaioi.

Thus, if the Türkmen migration gets butterflied it’s entirely possible that the Turks will be assimilated.
 
Assuming Philip can defeat Otto's revolt, which appears to have been the case prior to the assassination, that puts Philip in good position to strengthen his power in the HRE. Pope Innocent, I believe, was ready to compromise with Philip regarding Tuscany. Forgive me, though, as I am not well versed in the dispute with Innocent, Otto and Philip.
Assuming Philip does manage to consolidate his position in Germany, I believe he has leverage over the Pope, but the issue is whether Philip could successfully implement the Ebereichsplan. There's also the issue of Frederick II who is the rightful heir of Emperor Heinrich VI

Frederick would be groomed as Philip's successor. This assumes, though, that Philip would have no sons himself. In OTL, Philip's wife Irene was pregnant before the assassination. She had to quickly flee but then miscarried a girl and then died herself afterwards. Presumably Philip's death and her subsequent flight caused undue stress to her so it's possible she could survive and later have more children. In this case, it may be that Frederick may not inherit Germany, thus leaving Germany and Sicily separate realms.
Another possibility is what happened to Napoleon's wife Empress Josephine. Her experiences as an aristocrat during the Reign of Terror likely rendered here infertile. Philip's wife might have something similar happen to her after the birth of her daughter. Though perhaps this daughter could be married to Frederick II by Philip as a means to binds both branches of the Hohenstaufen family together.

I'll admit to being curious about what you're going to do with the Rum Sultanate since this is A Roman Timeline.
The Rum are going to be both a boon and a major thorn in the side of the various Roman splinter states.

Simply having them be absorbed into Roman culture does not seem feasible to me seeing as they're the ones flooding into in large numbers Anatolia after conquering it, even if the Mongols manage to wreak havoc in them like IOTL.
Well the Turks were never really a majority within Anatolia despite its prior depopulation of the interior in the mid 11th century before Manzikert. The modern Turks share many haplo groups with Greeks and Armenians. They're very close genetically speaking as these ethnic groups often intermarried. Alexios VI wife ittl is from a Greco-Turkish family. They earned prominence in Ioannes II's court. The early Ottoman army for example was made up of many Slavs, Greeks, and Cilician Armenians who converted to Islam. Even after Mehmed II conquered Constantinople in otl, he had the support of the remaining Anatolian Greek nobility and estate. Many preferred being under Ottoman rule which maintained the Patriarchate of Constantinople as opposed to being under Latin suzerainty which meant total submission to the Pope in Rome. One of the reasons why Emperors like Michael VIII and the later Palaiologoi aren't really popular is because of their concessions to the Latins.

The Seljuk/Salchouq became partially assimilated over the course of the 12th Century, interbreeding with the local population and adopting many cultural elements from them. If you look at the marriages and issue of the Seljuk dynasty, by the time of Köşe Dağ the Sultans were less than a quarter Turkish due to the high number of marriages within the lower ranks of the Rhomaioi aristocracy. Most of the population in the Lakes Region, the most heavily populated area, were heavily intermarried and, according to some historian whose name I can’t remember, even spoke a Rhomaioi-Salchouq pidgin.

The Turks really only became unassimulatable in the late 13th century, when Türkmen from Central Asia migrated into Anatolia. Many were fanatical Muslims, and as the Seljuk dynasty approached extinction they began establishing small statelets along the Rhomaioi frontier, many with the express purpose of waging holy war. As these cut off interaction with Rhomaion, the Seljuk assimilated into the Türkmen rather than the Rhomaioi.

Thus, if the Türkmen migration gets butterflied it’s entirely possible that the Turks will be assimilated.
Even after that the Turks only really became a large plurality and later majority in the 17th and 18th centuries. Despite that the lines between Greeks and Turks were blurred. This was why the Greco-Turkish war was a disaster for both sides in my view as their were Greeks who followed Islam and Turks who followed the Orthodox Church (ie The Karamanlides) on both sides.

If the Romans ever make it back into Anatolia, there will likely be lots of cross-cultural exchange between the Roman and Turks ittl. The same is true for the Balkans, and Italy if the Romans ever make it back there.
 
it would be very awesome to see a sucessfull house of Hohenstaufen, i always wanted to do a timeline about them myslef even with a focus on Philip of swabia, it would be very awesome if they end up implementing the Erbreichplan and consolidate their position in the Holy roman empire. Even the consequences of a surviving duchy of swabia could be quite large. Komnenos and Staufers, my two favourite houses in one timeline -perfect
 
On a related note...

Alexios Doukas Philanthropenos?
Do you have an estimate on when he would likely be born? He only entered the historical record in 1255. He died in otl in 1275. He did have surviving issue I think. I kinda want to give him a more prominent role, but I’m kinda lost on his origins.


it would be very awesome to see a sucessfull house of Hohenstaufen, i always wanted to do a timeline about them myslef even with a focus on Philip of swabia, it would be very awesome if they end up implementing the Erbreichplan and consolidate their position in the Holy roman empire. Even the consequences of a surviving duchy of swabia could be quite large. Komnenos and Staufers, my two favourite houses in one timeline -perfect
The Hohenstaufens and the Capetians (ie Philippe Augustus) are going to have major roles in this story as well.

Though on the issue of the Hohenstaufens, assuming Philip crushes the revolt in Germany, what route do you think he can take to centralize the HRE and to actually pass the Ebereichsplan. I think the other nobles started diving up their lands which causes decentralization of power in Germany. I feel like Innocent III might be able to raise another Lombard League to oppose Philip should Otto be crushed.
 
Though on the issue of the Hohenstaufens, assuming Philip crushes the revolt in Germany, what route do you think he can take to centralize the HRE and to actually pass the Ebereichsplan. I think the other nobles started diving up their lands which causes decentralization of power in Germany. I feel like Innocent III might be able to raise another Lombard League to oppose Philip should Otto be crushed.
Well there was initiall support for the Erbreichsplan since the Kaiser promised the dukes that their Fiefs will become hereditary and they will be able to have male as well as female heirs. (also some bribes and threats probably) Also the nobles were given the right to designate an heir should their main line die out. To the clergy it was promised that he will renounce the "Jus Spolii" right that the Kaiser had. So the property and income of deceased churchofficials would no longer belong to the crown. Also we should note that the Erbreichsplan seemes to have played little to no role in the confrontation between Papst Coelestin III and Heinreich about sicily. This is assumed because the pope had no large influence in politics inside the german kingdom but sicily was in all but name a papal fief more or less. Also it is important to note that Heinreich almost had succeeded because the nobles accepted, but they were later swayed by a clergyman and rebelled again. Heinreich was in a difficult situation because he promised the pope to go on a crusade in exchange for the aknowledgment of the pope for staufer sicily, but did not want to go for himself because his succession was not clear so he had to relay on the nobles, and they only were ready to go if he dropped the Erbreichplan.
Our Philip is in another situation here as far as i know he isnt going for a crusade so he can concetrate on business in germany. Also the reason the nobles were swayed again was rather coincidental since it is said a certain bishop (forgot who he was) swayed them against the plan but died himself shortly later and that bishop was said to be disgruntled for personal reasons.
I think Philip could similarly pass the Erbreichplan, give some concessions to the nobles which they actually want, and be ready to maybe put the initial revolt down. some threats, some favours. Ofc Philip would need a very good power base for that, i dont know what his exact position is to enlarge it tho.
Also sorry for my bad english
 
I wonder how the situation would be once the mongols arrive as Chormaqan and Baiyu where anything but pushovers
Don't forget Jebe or Subutai. Baiju Noyan was was born in 1201 so he should be about 3-4 in the timeline right now.

The Mongols are going to be major players here like in otl, but survival of the Komnenoi changes things. Plus I doubt Alexios or David Komnenos would be dumb enough to risk battle with someone like the Mongols.

o the clergy it was promised that he will renounce the "Jus Spolii" right that the Kaiser had. So the property and income of deceased churchofficials would no longer belong to the crown. Also we should note that the Erbreichsplan seemes to have played little to no role in the confrontation between Papst Coelestin III and Heinreich about sicily. This is assumed because the pope had no large influence in politics inside the german kingdom but sicily was in all but name a papal fief more or less. Also it is important to note that Heinreich almost had succeeded because the nobles accepted, but they were later swayed by a clergyman and rebelled again. Heinreich was in a difficult situation because he promised the pope to go on a crusade in exchange for the aknowledgment of the pope for staufer sicily, but did not want to go for himself because his succession was not clear so he had to relay on the nobles, and they only were ready to go if he dropped the Erbreichplan.
Our Philip is in another situation here as far as i know he isnt going for a crusade so he can concetrate on business in germany. Also the reason the nobles were swayed again was rather coincidental since it is said a certain bishop (forgot who he was) swayed them against the plan but died himself shortly later and that bishop was said to be disgruntled for personal reasons.
I think Philip could similarly pass the Erbreichplan, give some concessions to the nobles which they actually want, and be ready to maybe put the initial revolt down. some threats, some favours. Ofc Philip would need a very good power base for that, i dont know what his exact position is to enlarge it tho.
Also sorry for my bad english
This is a very interesting scenario. Though wasn't Frederick II under Papal guardianship at the time? Do you think the Pope would relinquish custody of him, or would he hope to raise him in Sicily to have a loyal puppet or at least a sympathetic ally on the Imperial Throne. If say Frederick II and the Papacy were to collaborate again, how much real tangible power do you think the Hohenstaufen dynasty could effectively wield with players like Philippe II Augustus being next door? Do you see the HRE perhaps in the future moving the Captal to Milan since its the crossroads between Italy and Germany?

Do you recommendations on sources about Medieval Germany and the reign of Frederick II?
 
The Mongols are going to be major players here like in otl, but survival of the Komnenoi changes things. Plus I doubt Alexios or David Komnenos would be dumb enough to risk battle with someone like the Mongols.
Indeed their far more likely to play it smart, pay them off, set them on their enemies, then swoop in and recapture everything from their greatly weakened foes as the Khanate collapses.
 
Just caught up. Interesting timeline . I do hope we get to see latin empire get a beating that they will never forget and perhaps some competent Basileus to take the throne that would be able to restore the glory of Rhomania.
 
Don't forget Jebe or Subutai. Baiju Noyan was was born in 1201 so he should be about 3-4 in the timeline right now.

The Mongols are going to be major players here like in otl, but survival of the Komnenoi changes things. Plus I doubt Alexios or David Komnenos would be dumb enough to risk battle with someone like the Mongols.


This is a very interesting scenario. Though wasn't Frederick II under Papal guardianship at the time? Do you think the Pope would relinquish custody of him, or would he hope to raise him in Sicily to have a loyal puppet or at least a sympathetic ally on the Imperial Throne. If say Frederick II and the Papacy were to collaborate again, how much real tangible power do you think the Hohenstaufen dynasty could effectively wield with players like Philippe II Augustus being next door? Do you see the HRE perhaps in the future moving the Captal to Milan since its the crossroads between Italy and Germany?

Do you recommendations on sources about Medieval Germany and the reign of Frederick II?
Ah yes subotai grand raid in 1223 where he defeated Georgia and then the Volga Bulgars kipchacs alans cumans and the Rus princes at the kalka river
 
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